Book Review Time: Full Frontal Feminism
August 27, 2007
First of all, I wish that this book had been around when I was, oh, fifteen or sixteen. In fact, I’d recommend giving copies to any girls in your life who are around that age – or any women who constantly say “I’m not a feminist or anything, but…”. Like author Jessica Valenti says, if you have to preface any statement with that kind of caveat, you probably are whatever you’re denying.
Clearly, I enjoyed the book. In my case, however, Full Frontal Feminism was preaching to the choir – I’m a card carrying member of NOW, I already identify as a feminist, and I even subscribe to Feministing.com, the website Jessica founded. Obviously, I didn’t need to be convinced of anything – but I have kind of a sinking feeling that the people who would really benefit from reading it might not give it a chance.
In case you weren’t aware, feminism is not particularly cool. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a woman or girl use the phrase “I’m not a feminist, but…”, I could retire tomorrow. This includes my experience in womens’ studies classes – if there was anywhere where you’d be unlikely to be attacked for being a feminist, you’d think it would be there. Seriously, are the negative connotations of feminism really that bad? Do people just assume that all feminists hate men and want to subjugate or punish them? Because I assure you that’s just not the case here (quite the contrary, in fact).
Anyways – whether or not you consider yourself a feminist, whether you’re a man or a woman (but especially if you’re a woman), do yourself a favor and pick up this book, check out feministing.com or similiar sites (check out feministing’s blogroll for TONS of related blogs and other cool sites), and get beyond the stereotypes for once. Because seriouslu, here’s the dictionary definition of feminism:
1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
2. The movement organized around this belief.
That’s all – and honestly, what woman can’t get behind that?
Link the Amazon page for Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Women’s Guide To Why Feminism Matters.
Edit: I know that some people might not appreciate the author’s casual tone, but I have a feeling that the engaging, conversational style will probably appeal to more people than a more formal voice. Besides, a book doesn’t have to be a hyper-serious academic text to be smart, informative, and powerful. That said, I think this is an excellent “gateway” book for those unfamiliar with feminist literature.